By on February 7, 2014
Photo courtesy of wikipedia

Photo courtesy of wikipedia

I was about eight years old when I fell in love the first time. She was a long, lanky and curvaceous piece of work, sexy and sophisticated, and I knew the moment that I first laid eyes upon her, her and her sister for there were two parked alongside one another in the driveway, that one day I must possess her. Looking back I can tell your she was a big girl, but compared to the my father’s Oldsmobile Delta 88 she seemed impossibly lithe and trim. Her chrome nameplate told me she was called “Jaguar” and once I spied her no other car would ever be quite good enough.

It’s funny how you can use a car every day for years and years and, when it is finally gone, be unable to recall a single detail. You know the make and model, of course, and probably have a general image in your mind, but when it comes to specifics you have only the vaguest of recollections, more an emotional impression of how the car made you feel than a single, hard and fast memory you can point to. But to this day, and despite the fact that I probably only spent about ten minutes next to them, in the driveway I still can recall enough of the details of the two cars I saw that just now I was able to get on line and identify them as Mark IIs. That says something.

The Jaguar Mark II is, of course a sedan – saloons as the British call them – and because of them I have always had a thing for the manufacturer’s larger offerings. To be honest, I wouldn’t turn down on of their sports cars if it were given to me, but the only one I have ever actually imagined owning is the most sedan-like XJS. I can’t tell you what it is about the big cats, but they have always had a special appeal to me. They ooze sophistication, and the thought of finding myself ensconced on a hand stitched leather seat, surrounded by old world craftsmanship as I survey the world across a long bonnet and monitor my progress via a set of clock like gauges mounted in burled walnut makes me a giddy as an English schoolgirl.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Of course, the brand’s reputation for unreliability, especially among the older models, means I will probably never actually own one but in my mind they are still the perfect combination of power, good looks and luxury and I still find myself pausing to look whenever I find one for sale. I’m not sure why that is. Logically I know it’s a relationship that could never work, but I still I have that hope that owning a Jag could turn out to be the craziest, wildest, greatest thing that ever happened to me and so I have to pause to consider that whenever the chance presents itself.

I’m not nuts, am I? Please tell me you feel the same way about some brand or another. Tell me that there is one car that you have always admired but, for whatever reason, have never indulged in. One of those cars that you could not resist if only they sold on this side of the ocean or that specific model you would buy if you had that extra spot in the driveway. That car you swear you will get when your children get out of their car seats, or that other one you are looking forward to owning when they finally get out of the house altogether so you don’t need to worry about rear seat legroom. You cannot be a lover of all things automotive if you do not have at least one secret crush. What is it? We must know.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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67 Comments on “True Confessions: Revealing My Secret Crush...”


  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    Thomas, we share a secret then. I saw one sitting next to a house at age 13, and knocked on the door, asked to look at it – the mom of the teen who owned it said go ahead. I got to sit in it, fall in love with the aroma of old wilton carpet and dried up leather, as well as the ambiance supplied by real walnut burl.

    Fast forward 6 years and I was in the USAF stationed in England, it was 1976 and then suddenly 1977 and these beauties were all over the used car lots surrounding the base. Many a GI bought them, desiring the same dream that you and I have – and then reality poked its ugly nose into the tent like an unwanted camel. Even back in that timeframe, it generally cost $1000 to $2000 to just keep one running, per year – and that was a VERY large chunk of our very meagre and pathetically low paychecks (thanks for nothing, Jimmah Cahtah).

    I never bothered buying one, but did have the most wonderful ride in one – OK so it was a Daimler 250 with tiny hemi V8 and Borg-Warner automatic, but it was the same bodyshell with a fluted grille and front split bench seat (in a grade nicer leather than Jags, no doubt). The sound that little V8 made revving up to 5500 before shifting was a soundtrack I’ll never forget.

    Yes, I certainly understand…. and like you, I’m grounded in the reality of what these cars are really like in terms of eating up scarce resources (i.e. money) that I’ve never pulled the trigger and gotten one used (and most certainly I could never afford one new).

  • avatar
    tonyeads

    A high school friend whose father spent a sabbatical year in England returned to Bloomington with a 1960 Jaguar 3.8, supercharged, deep blue with red leather. It was the most beautiful car I had ever seen, and certainly the most elegant car I ever rode in. I saw a perfectly-restored twin in Cornwall a couple of years ago and sighed.

  • avatar
    mike1dog

    My uncle owned a Jaguar way back in the early sixties. His father got tired of it sitting around and sold it for scrap while he was in the air force. I used to have a spare set of spark plugs he had for the car, but I only ever saw a picture of it.

  • avatar

    Yes, a timeless classic.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    You are completely normal. Everyone else isn’t!

  • avatar
    carguy67

    re: “You cannot be a lover of all things automotive if you do not have at least one secret crush. What is it?”

    Austin-Healeys (though it isn’t a secret).

  • avatar
    philipbarrett

    We share the same crush. As Pastor recalls too, I can remember when the dodgy dealers on the Kings Road couldn’t give these luv’ly motors away. At 18 I was sorely tempted to buy into one but had my heart turned by a Lancia Fulvia (another give-away car at the time).

    My abiding interest in cars has surprisingly never really translated into wanting anything particularly nice myself, I’m more of a looker than a buyer. However, when the right MkII comes along I may be unable to resist. Perhaps fortunately for my wallet the good ones now go for princely sums.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    As one pundunt put it one aspires to own a BMW or a Merc but one lusts to own a Jag. I too fell in love with that Jag and today drive an 11 year old S type (the retro model) with 95k on the clock. Love the old girl and cherish her. Ford at least put some reliability in the car. Ian McC, chief designer of Jags, is having one of the old girls updated with modern internals. Ought to be the greatest Jag ever.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember when the S type came out. Now that they have some years on them, the next time I’m in the market for a cool sedan I’ll probably have one on my short list. I love the style.

      • 0 avatar
        gsf12man

        I would love to have an S-Type. I’ve driven a great many Jaguars and that is a personal favorite. First choice would be a late S-Type with the “buttlifted” rear deck and newer taillight design. A friend and former co-worker just bought an early S-Type 3.0L with the Ford 5-speed auto and early interior. I drove it; it’s flawless and was a really enjoyable drive. After the later version came out I had no time for the early interior, but this one has made me re-think that. His wife was a bit shocked when he brought it home but she’s mad for it now.

      • 0 avatar
        jfbramfeld

        I had panther love before I ever heard of panthers. In fact, my children moved out and I sold my second Towncar in 2009 still having never heard of a panther. On the other hand, I replaced it with a 2005 S-Type 3.0, which I had never heard of either. I saw a cheap one locally and found an even cheaper one in Florida. Only 29,000 miles, six months left on the warranty and a burn on the outside of the hood. $14,400, the cheapest car I had bought in decades. The engine and 6 speed automatic are smooth as silk, the door clunks on closing as a Lincoln never could, and it is a joy to drive. Best car yet. The XF doesn’t even tempt me.

      • 0 avatar

        I just bought a ’2000 S-Type Executive. What an engine, that is incredible. I have the 3.5. And beautiful lines. I respect the way the design from the sixties was carried over to a car that was built in 2000, yet looks modern and very classy today.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    For me, almost any of the ’60s or early 70s British sports cars, but especially an MGB-GT, despite Murilee’s warnings. I’ve always had a thing for shooting brakes, the perfect combination of fun and utility.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Murilee talking you out of an MGB-GT? The same Murilee that I bonded with when I learned that he, too, dug ’65 Impala’s? I’m crestfallen.How do I dare go against his wisdom?

      Well, I will play turncoat. I owned a dark blue ’67 MGB-GT, drove it all over California, LA to Tahoe via I5, back through Bishop and Lone Pine, to Mammoth Mtn a few times, camped in it one night(not advised), and overall had a great experience with it. Parts are as available as those for classic Mustangs. Properly sorted out, they’re super cars and of course they look dynamite. Sorry to cross you, Murilee.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the above is well before my time as a kid i remember seeing the local doctor with an XJ6 and it cemented “who buys Jaguars” and while I dont particularly like any Jaguar coupes (never have), the current XF and XJ are sublime.

    also remeber seeing a jensen interceptor and wondering what kind of wonderful machine it is compared to the crapboxes dropped on us during the malaise era

  • avatar
    SteelyMoose

    Well, it’s not a car, but…

    Honda CBX. 1st gen. Red.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah – the CBX and I have a rather sordid history. http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/the-making-of-a-man/

      • 0 avatar
        SteelyMoose

        As Sajeev might say, “Damn, SON!” I had a 350 twin for which I could never completely sort out the carbs; I could not imagine what it would be like to try to de-basketize that engine!

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Naw ;

          Once you sort out _any_ multiple carbies they’re good to go nearly forever .

          Carburettor is a _french_ word that means : LEAVE IT ALONE ! .

          90 % of all carburettor problems are in fact , electrical in nature .

          Those CV carbis were O.K. until the diaphragm began to leak .

          Most folks touch the carbies first instead of doing proper Tune _ up Mtce. and adjustments , the carbies always come DEAD LAST if you’re properly trained .

          -Nate

  • avatar

    I’ve always wanted a Mercedes SL500 but alas, need the utility of a four door sedan for my photo gear, etc.

    Not to mention the, um, reliability question.

    D

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    true confessions? i like smaller cars, those i can reach across and unlock the passenger door. hatches and wagons esp. loved my 1983 horizon, liked the 1990 civic wagon (never did get used to the seating position) and of course the 1998 passat wagon, which is about as large as i would want to get.

    sort of like admitting you like less endowed women.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not-so-secret crush? Luxury sedans. Don’t care if its a 1953 Sedan DeVille, a 1962 Lincoln Continental, Jaguar XJ, 2010 Town Car, 1981 Rolls Royce, 1970s Imperial… I WANT TO TRY THEM ALL! The bigger the motor the softer the ride the quieter the interior… I’ll break my neck turning to look at one.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thomas ;

    The MKII remains an iconic Automobile and was so from inception .

    They’re not terribly difficult to make into good daily driver’s you just have to be a good Mechanic and be diligent no sloppy workmanship .

    Yes the initial build quality was often spotty but the inherent design was pretty good .

    A friend of mine courted his wife in a MKII in England when he was a lad and the car not very old , here in The States he still has one unrestored and listening to the exhaust note of that I6 as I vainly try to keep him in sight on the twisty back roads we both love , is pure .

    Recently this Flea-Bay seller : http://www.ebay.com/itm/1967-Jaguar-Type-S-NO-RESERVE-/390751078035?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&nma=true&si=tOkYpz3bbnwcrsQVT6dZtvKAGns%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

    has a ’67 with a Chevy 250 I6 engine in it , I was sorely tempted to buy it because

    A. I too love those MKII Jags having seen them new on the lots and

    B. I’m a Die Hard GM I6 man who can make and keep it running perfectly in my sleep , for pennies .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    ArBee

    Oh, I love Jaguars of every kind and Mercedes SLs from the Sixties and the Saab 96…but my real secret love? A Citroen DS23 Pallas with 5 speed manual.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I want a big Chrysler (preferably a 76-78 New Yorker Brougham or 69-70 300), a DeLorean, and an International Scout in my weird dream garage.

    Also a black Lincoln Conti Mk V.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I do like most cars, or at least think they have some potential if modified correctly, but I’ve never been an official fan of luxury cars or german cars. So, I guess my secret crush would be a BMW M3 or M5. I’d prefer an E34 Touring, but the E36 M3 Coupe is a very nice car too, for a german car…
    Jaguar Mk2′s are the grandfathers of M5′s though, beatiful, great handling and very fast for it’s time.(no I haven’t driven one). I believe I’d think less of someone who secretly hates it than I would of someone who secretly loves it :)

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    Jags, with some exceptions, are the only cars I feel are pieces of crap, but I still want one.

  • avatar

    You definitely aren’t alone, Thomas. I spotted a white one with wire wheels at an import shop, when I was in 4th grade. I must have stood there mesmerized, face against the chain link fence for about a half hour. To this day I get weak knees at the sight of a MK II and would love to own one, or an early XJ6, or pre-face lifted XJS.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    The Morse-mobile! It sure is pretty in red.

    • 0 avatar
      oldowl

      Indeed it is. Inspector Morse knew when to pull it over to quaf a pint. The large windows…perfect. The fender-mounted rearview mirrors, aaah. Perhaps it could be revived as a kit car.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Confession 1. My early 2000 perfect aspirational garage would have a VDP, a DTS (for snowy Midwest, and a Denali XL)
    Confession 2. Two years ago I bought a 100k mile 01 Deville and love the power,space, bad weather traction everyday.
    Confession 3. Never going to own early 2000 Denali (it was just a crush). Love for VDP endures, but maintenance is scary, so I probably wouldn’t have it ever.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Oh yeah :

    First gen. Honda CRX si , in blue .

    -Nate

  • avatar

    Of course! That is an incredibly beautiful car. And in a world where almost nothing produced now is incredibly beautiful, the lust factor is all the greater.

    I want an off white Peugeot 404 station wagon, the car we got hte year we lived in France

    Also, after writing about Irv and his Volvo P1800, I want one. I want to acquire it 25-30 years ago, using it as daily driver and keeping it all these years in great condition, just as he has done. (But no, I don’t see myself driving 3 million miles. I’d have had to live to 90 to see a million.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I feel the same way about Benzes from the late ’60s through the mid ’80s. I’ve always wanted a 280SE 3.5 convertible and/or a 450SEL 6.9.

  • avatar
    Monty

    You’d have to fight me for that car pictured, Thomas.

    About the time I was 4 or 5, we moved to a new neighbourhood, and our next door neighbours were a young couple (well, she was young, what we now call a trophy wife) who were blessed to own two Jaguars automobiles. She drove an E-Type, and he had the Mark II. Their youngest son was my age, so we naturally fell in together. Within a couple of weeks I had ridden in both Jaguars. I have lusted ever since.

    Fast forward to my late teens, and I find two E-Type convertibles for sale. One in brown with the tan interior, and the other was an ivory colour. They were being sold as a pair, with the ivory car as a “parts-only” (which should’ve raised flags all over the place). I paid the princely sum of $800 for the pair, which were 10 and eleven years old respectively. I had the pleasure of driving my E-Type for approximately ten days in total out of almost 6 months of ownership. It was cursed. If it wasn’t the electrics, it was the carburetor, or it was the brake slave cylinder – basically dominoes. Fix one, then the next would pop up.

    I learned my lesson. I admire them from afar. But I would buy the Mark II pictured in a heartbeat, which is why my wife monitors my bank accounts!

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Early ’70s land yachts, especially Chrysler and Cadillac.

    Riding on marshmallows, different zip codes front and rear.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Chrysler knew how to make a f***ing land yacht. Anything C-body with 440 power would easily float down the road passing everything except a gas station. Ford LTDs and Buick Electra 225s just can’t compare to fuselage full-size Chryslers in my opinion. Though a 2 door LTD with dog dishes and a Coyote swap would be a neat ride.

  • avatar

    Oh! I was – maybe 5. My dad had a TR 4A. I think my mom’s first pictures of me were sitting in it, one hand on the wheel, one on the shift knob.

    Then, I saw it! It didn’t work too often so it hid in the garage. But, one day visiting the grandparents in Rocky Hill, my grampa backed her out. A Mark II in dark blue. I was smitten. He sold it not much later for a Cherokee and a Dodge dart. I never forgot that car. I cried when I was told it had been sold. First time I cried over a Jag. There were more…

  • avatar
    fredtal

    It’s always been British sport cars for me. I’ve had a few over the last 40 years or so. Now I have a nice Elan and plan on keeping it until I can no longer get in and out of it or too feeble to drive.

  • avatar
    Featherston

    “Meh, the Mark II is OK. But it really cries out for a more aggressive front end; stronger character lines; a high, rising beltline; and larger wheels, 18s or bigger. Oh, and LED accents too.”
    –2014 car designer

  • avatar
    Garak

    Pining for horrid cars is normal. I’d love a 1970s US land yacht (which are thankfully exempt of any emission laws here) or – more disturbingly – a Russian Moskvitsh. Years ago I actually managed to own a rear-engined 1980s Skoda, a vehicle that makes a Corvair look sophisticated, well-handling and modern.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    3 times in my life I have had the opportunity to purchase a Lotus Europa in very good condition and in each case sanity prevailed. It was a very hard fought battle every single time.

    I usually break out my copy of 11 Harrowhouse now whenever I feel the urge to seek out one of Lotus’ pretty little death traps. For those who haven’t yet seen that movie, make certain it’s the latest DVD release as prior versions did not feature Charles Grodin’s continuous running monologue throughout the film, which is the single most important part of that action/drama/comedy.

    I also wish to obtain a GAZ 46 and fit it with a modern TD engine, perhaps something from Isuzu’s parts bin, for an ersatz-GPA I would not be afraid to use as a DD.

    • 0 avatar
      Garak

      There were a couple of GAZ 69s for sale where I live for really cheap, and it was a true challenge not to buy one of them. Most likely one of the best decisions of my life.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Logically I know it’s a relationship that could never work”

    And emotionally. Because as we’ve discovered previously Tom, you have an emotional issue with special cars (or even cars that are non special like that Probe!) A Jag like that would most certainly be special, and you wouldn’t drive it. So it’s best left unattainable.

  • avatar
    replica

    RX8.

    If only it were reliable.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    X305 or X308 with LSx conversion.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    My sister lusted after a Mark II 3.8 in 1961 – it was a ’60 model, and the dealer wanted $3,200 for it, only $1,000 less than new. It was only a year old and already had that musty, leathery smell to it. She couldn’t swing the deal with a ’52 Ford Victoria in trade, and bought a ’57 Pontiac Chief instead. The car I’VE always wanted is a 1963 Buick Riviera.

    A guy who lives a block away from me has one in his garage, where he’s been restoring it for 18 years, and won’t sell. “Someday” he says he’ll put the front bumper back on and it’ll be complete. He must be related to Mrs. Winchester – he thinks he’ll die right after he finishes the restoration, or the car will be stolen or totaled, so he’ll never finish the job.

    I wonder how many restorers have that idea? It must be “the quest that must never end syndrome” in the medical books.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    My friend’s father had one — two tone green and gold, with the real wire wheels. I still remember the burled walnut dash with that row of toggle switches. He needed a more reliable daily driver and had to sell it; he obviously deeply regretted it because he bought another one later. But it was no where near as nice; a plain white with plain steel wheels. I don’t think it ever ran much.

    My “lusted after” cars have changed over the years. When I was very young, it was the boattail Riviera of the early 70s. I saw the Mini Lindey model of one; and thought it looked awesome. In later years, it was a 1958 Thunderbird convertible in red thanks to the Monogram model of the same.

    I fell in love with the Audi 5000s at first sight. I sat in one at the dealer; but that was closest I ever got to one. I have my scrapbook from the 1970s-1980s; and it includes both a color ad and a photocopy of a review of one.

    Another favorite from that time is the Chrysler Maserati TC. I loved the lines on that; imagined myself driving in one; top down, set of engineering plans by my side, as I drove to meet my girl.

    Nowdays, I don’t know. I also suffer from TK syndrome; thinking anything I get my hands on will get worn out or broken. There are lots of jellybean Fords from the Sierra on that I would not mind having; along with a Chrysler Airflow.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Hey Thomas, that car reminds me of when I was a kid and would watch the BBC editions of “The Avengers” on ABC at 10pm Friday nights with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. She drove a frickin’ Lotus and wore black leather catsuits with a zipper ALL THE WAY down the front…and could kick the a$$ of anyone she chose to, along with her British spy cohort, Mr. Steed, who drove a vintage Bentley (the irony of their names has JUST NOW dawned on me, Duh!). Ironically, I would spend 20 minutes the next morning at Catechism class talking with my non-nun super hot teacher about the show because she was as big a fan as I was. Beat getting slapped on the knuckles by a sadistic nun with a wayward ruler. Ah, to recreate the days of my impressionable youth…to this day, this Polish boy is a sucker for British cars and British accents.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    I’ve always had a thing For W126 Mercedes S-Class sedans. It’s the last Mercedes that truly impressed me with its solid feel and attention to detail. It looks (and feels) like it is hewn from a solid billet of steel. I especially love the rear 3/4 view and the delicious curves of the rear window. The car has a coachbuilt look and feel to it.

    Later versions with the body colored cladding are still surprisingly contemporary looking – a 560SEL, black on black with the rear luxury package (heated, reclining rear seats, adjustable footrests, etc) would be nice, but I realize it would be debilitatingly expensive to maintain.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Fine. I like Corvettes.

    Please don’t tell anyone.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This was a fantastic read, TK.

    It actually cheered me up on this bitterly cold Saturday morning. Thanks for that!

    3 cars that spring to my mind as “crush cars” are:

    1) Citroen C6. I’ve always loved how different Citroen was and how they placed such a high emphasis on sumptuous, glorious comfort. To drive a car with that silky suspension, laughing at Michigan’s frost heaved roads would be joyous.

    2) Datsun 240Z. I always believed the dash design, with perfectly laid out gauges and and what I’d consider to be ergonomics better than the “Supreme German” vunder-coupes of the time, was a thing of amazement given the little Datsun’s price, and the relative simplicity of the car made it all te more appealing.

    3) Either the Toyota Crown Sedan that Ronnie recently drive or the Mitsuoka Galue (faux Rolls-Royce, but better than the real deal, IMO, given how reliable, well-made and utterly relaxing it is, and all for 1/4 or 1/5th the price of an actual Rolls-Royce).

  • avatar
    redseca2

    Even though I had saved the money, I was not allowed to buy my first car until I finished high school. Until then I had to settle with borrowing my mother’s car and looking at Road and Track magazine while growing up in Sacramento, California.

    In June 1971, freshly graduated, it took me less than one day to find a 1959 Jaguar Mark II, going for the huge cost of $900.00. White body, red leather interior, the wood, the smell, what grace, pace, space; totally perfect.

    Oh I really wanted that car.

    But, somehow reasonable voices talked me out of it, with about every mechanically inclined parent for 10 miles around retelling every cliche Jaguar horror story. I remember my best friend’s father, who restored american cars as a hobby staring at the engine bay and wincing.

    But the good thing about starting with such a high level ideal was that when I next put my eye on a white 1965 MGB asking $700, it seemed to everyone that I had shown a very adult ability to compromise.

    With my stereo speakers lashed down to the luggage rack, that was the car I drove to my freshman year of college.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    My secret car crushes:

    1. Opel GT – Great looking little sports car, and because it is 40+ years old it is impractical. Add in the fact I would perform an engine swap and this dream goes from impractical to the musings of a lunatic.

    2. VW T1 or T2 Bus with Westfalia conversion – I love the look and the ability to easily camp out of it, which is great for the family. That said, I don’t hate my family enough to put their lives at risk in one.

    My secret motorcycle crushes:

    1. 1975-1979 Honda CB400F – A 400cc four cylinder engine with amazing retro style that could be pushed at rational speeds? Sign me up! What’s that? You say I should probably first finish rebuilding the cb750 that’s in pieces in my garage? Yeah, probably.

    2. Suzuki RE-5 – What’s not to love about the Giugiaro designed, rotary powered motorcycle that nearly bankrupted Suzuki? I mean other than parts being unavailable, heavy weight, and relatively high price.

  • avatar
    bergxu

    Oh boy, where do I begin?

    Ok, so I’ve owned lots of vintage Jags; two XKEs (proper FHCs not the fugly 2+2), a 340 saloon (i.e. a “stripper” Mk.II), several XJ-Ss and XJ6s and, most recently, an X308 XJR which was a totally reliable car and without question, THE most comfortable car I’ve ever owned, period. I sold it to a friend in Florida who sill has it and I think it’s showing around 240K on the clock at present. If you want a reliable Jag, get an XJR, preferably ’01-’03 as they have the steel-liner engine and Mercedes 722.6 transmission, both very durable units. All electrics are Bosch or Nippon Denso and the A/C will most likely be the best you’ll ever experience this side of a DeVille.

    I worked for a Jag dealer and can wholly advise to stay away from S and, especially X-Types. Those are total junk and many were not maintained well as they were often bought by folks who were just on the cusp of being able to afford a Jaguar. You want a Jag, it has to be XJ or bust. Even the X350 XJS are quite durable, save for occasional air suspension issues but nothing as bad as Land Rovers. Although the X308 was considered to be equally as reliable as any of its counterparts, and with prices so low, they’re a very tempting purchase.

    I DD a W126 Mercedes, having spent almost 15 years with MB prior to my time at Jaguar, but have a ’54 XK120 OTS in the garage, itching to be broken out for springtime motoring. And if all goes well, maybe it’ll find a new owner at RMs Monterrey auction this year and I can get back to flogging my TR6 as the summer sled—much easier car to maintain, more civilized and you can actually fit enough luggage in the boot for a weekend away with your girl.

    Back to the W126 Merc–indeed they’ve finally attained classic status. Over in Germany, they’re restoring them and repatriating quite a few. I have a Euro-spec ’85 500SEL but have had several 560s and will say that if you want a W126, it’s best to go for an ’89-’91 so you get the better seats and dual airbags. Definitely go 560 over 420 as the 560s were all equipped as standard with heated seats front and rear, as well as the reclining rear seat. Fuel economy is basically a negligible difference between the two models, so just figure it’ll guzzle lots of hi-test no matter what.

    If it has 100K or more miles on it, make sure it has had the timing chain (and tensioner and rails) done, and definitely try for one with a service history.

    Otherwise, they’re quite bulletproof cars and won’t cost a king’s ransom to maintain AS LONG AS you have a mechanic familiar with Bosch CIS so any drivability problems can be dispatched with easily. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing ‘spensive parts at it and will become most frustrated and bankrupt.

    Oh, and to the fellow who commented here earlier who wants a 450SEL 6.9, I have one of those too, sitting next to my XK120 in the garage. You want to buy it? It’s a ’77 in Silverblue Metallic with Navy leather. California car from new with a 3″ thick binder of service history. Very nice car and just had the suspension hydraulics serviced along with a proper tune. If you’re interested drop me a line on QV5000 “at” gmail

    Aaron

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I know very little about Jaguar compared to you, but I do know that the X type was a reliability nightmare based on clients, friends or the one relative I had who owned one. It really tarnished the brand at a time when the brand was already tarnished.

      Having said that, I always loved the muscular stance and the firm but supple ride quality of the XJ8.

      And it didn’t hurt that the car, especially in black, looked elegant yet bad a$$ in a way that the Germans simply couldn’t answer:

      http://dealerrevs.com/gallery/31428431.html

      http://dealerrevs.com/gallery/31428471.html

      That is just drop dead sexy.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Those Mark IIs are gorgeous, there’s one in my town that appears every spring, love to see it drive by. I had an XJ6 for a few years and definitely am infected by the Jaguar bug. Recently saw a 5-speed X-type on Craigslist for pretty cheap, it was very tempting.


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